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ENEWS: On Immigration, Broadband, and Black Americans

Date Published: 08/23/2017

Author: Dane Smith

MN Biz Alarmed About Anti-Immigrant Tilt

Minnesota business leaders have been ringing alarm bells loudly since November about the potential damage to our economy from anti-immigrant policies and attitudes.  One of the best takes we’ve seen is this insightful two-part editorial series by Dale Kurschner, Editor-in-Chief of Twin Cities Business Magazine.  Kurschner focuses on Greater Minnesota and heavy agribusiness reliance on immigrants, particularly Latinos. He cites many corporate and community leaders who avow that immigrants are good citizens and valuable net contributors to local economies, and that Minnesota probably needs more immigrants to meet labor demands, not fewer.

One Reason Rurals are Seeing Red: Weak Internet Service

As we develop our Minnesota Rural Equity Project, Growth & Justice is researching factors that have created a widening metro-rural divide. One of the more consistent things we hear is that too many people in Greater Minnesota feel they are falling further behind metro Minnesota because they are under-served by high-speed internet service.  This broadband availability “heat map” shows huge areas of rural Minnesota where more than 50 percent of households (in dark red) still lack optimal service.  We recommend the Blandin Foundation’s Broadband Program webpage, for much more detailed information on both the needs and encouraging progress toward the goals of universal statewide access to high-speed internet.

Facts About the State of Black Americans

An underlying theme in the deplorable white supremacy movement and in the broader backlash against racial equity efforts is the explicit assertion that people of color, and particularly black Americans and Minnesotans, are somehow getting too good a deal and are better off than white Americans. By any reasonable measure, this is simply untrue.  We highly recommend this recent analysis by the Brookings Institution, showing once again how even when measuring by comparable education levels, persistent discrimination and other factors put people of color at a distinct disadvantage.  The authors cite with charts and graphs 10 reasons why “the circumstances of black Americans ought to remain right at the top of the agenda for policymakers.”

Quote of the Week

“The plight of the white working class is now a deep concern of pundits, politicians and scholars. But there is a danger that in the rush to understand whites, too much attention is diverted from the group who are, to coin a phrase, the truly disadvantaged: black Americans”--Dayna Bowen Matthew and Richard V. Reeves, from Brookings Institution Social Mobility Memos (highlighted above).

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